Question: Why Is Seafloor Spreading Important?

What is the seafloor spreading theory?

Seafloor spreading, theory that oceanic crust forms along submarine mountain zones, known collectively as the mid-ocean ridge system, and spreads out laterally away from them.


How was seafloor spreading discovered?

Hess discovered that the oceans were shallower in the middle and identified the presence of Mid Ocean Ridges, raised above the surrounding generally flat sea floor (abyssal plain) by as much as 1.5 km. … This created new seafloor which then spread away from the ridge in both directions.

What boundaries can destroy seafloor?

At convergent plate boundaries, oceanic crust is often forced down into the mantle where it begins to melt. Magma rises into and through the other plate, solidifying into granite, the rock that makes up the continents. Thus, at convergent boundaries, continental crust is created and oceanic crust is destroyed.

What happens after seafloor spreading?

Basalt cools to form a new crust near the mid-ocean rift. Old crust moves closer together. New crust moves away from the mid-ocean rift.

Why is seafloor spreading such a big deal?

Seafloor spreading occurs at divergent plate boundaries. As tectonic plates slowly move away from each other, heat from the mantle’s convection currents makes the crust more plastic and less dense. The less-dense material rises, often forming a mountain or elevated area of the seafloor.

Why do seafloor spreading occur?

Sea-floor spreading is what happens at the mid-oceanic ridge where a divergent boundary is causing two plates to move away from one another resulting in spreading of the sea floor. As the plates move apart, new material wells up and cools onto the edge of the plates.

What are the three types of seafloor spreading?

There are three types of plate-plate interactions based upon relative motion: convergent, where plates collide, divergent, where plates separate, and transform motion, where plates simply slide past each other.

Where is active seafloor spreading occurring today?

Where is active sea floor spreading occurring today? Seafloor spreading is the movement of old rock that is being pushed by the new young oceanic crust. This would be a divergent since the plates are separating from each other. Active seafloor spreading is occurring at mid-ocean ridges.

What are the steps in the process of seafloor spreading?

What are the steps in the process of sea floor spreading?Magma comes out of the rift valley.Magma cools to rock and hardens.Rock is pushed away as new rock is formed at MOR.Oceanic crust and continental crust meet at the trench.Oceanic crust bends down under the continental crust.Gravity pulls rock towards mantle.Rock melts to mantle.

When did seafloor spreading start?

The discovery of the Great Global Rift in the 1950s inspired him to look back at his data from years before. After much thought, he proposed in 1960 that the movement of the continents was a result of sea-floor spreading. In 1962, he added a geologic mechanism to account for Wegener’s moving continents.

What is the average speed of seafloor spreading?

approximately 5 centimeters a yearThe average speed of seafloor spreading is approximately 5 centimeters a year. This growth rate can be compared to the growth rate of human fingernails (Krupicka). The global ridge system consists of oceanic ridges. Seafloor spreading occurs at these elevated oceanic ridges and has high heat flow and volcanism.